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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hildr Lv 1I

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2012, ‘Hildr Hrólfsdóttir nefju, Lausavísa 1’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 139.

Hildr Hrólfsdóttir nefjuLausavísa1

text and translation

Hafnið Nefju nafna;
nú rekið gand ór landi
horskan hǫlða barma;
hví bellið því, stillir?
Illts við ulf at ylfask
Yggs valbríkar slíkan;
muna við hilmis hjarðir
hœgr, ef renn til skógar.

Hafnið {nafna Nefju}; nú rekið gand, horskan barma hǫlða, ór landi; hví bellið því, stillir? Illts at ylfask við slíkan ulf {Yggs {valbríkar}}; muna hœgr við hjarðir hilmis, ef renn til skógar.
‘You renounce Nefja’s namesake [= Hrólfr]; now you banish the wolf, the wise brother of freeholders, from the land; why do you risk that, lord? It is dangerous to threaten such a wolvish enemy of the Yggr <= Óðinn> of the slain-plank [SHIELD > WARRIOR (= Haraldr)]; he will not be gentle with the ruler’s herds if he runs to the forest.

notes and context

Hildr’s son Hrólfr arrives in Vík (Viken, Norway), and slaughters livestock for provisions. King Haraldr hárfagri ‘Fair-hair’ convenes an assembly and outlaws him, banishing him from Norway. Upon hearing that, Hildr goes to Haraldr and pleads her son’s cause to no avail. She then recites this stanza. AM 158 8°ˣ gives a couplet (ll. 5-6) as an illustration of a metaphor in which vargr ‘wolf, outlaw’ is called úlfr ‘wolf’.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Hildr Hrólfsdóttir nefju, Lausavísa: AI, 31, BI, 27, Skald I, 17, NN §§2007, 2218B, 2724; Hkr 1893-1901, I, 131-2, ÍF 26, 123-4 (HHárf ch. 24), F 1871, 51; ÓH 1941, I, 52 (ch. 26), Flat 1860-8, II, 30.


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